The Other Paper risked life and limb to expose-for the first time in 30 years-this easy formula for guaranteed* Comfest stardom.

The Other Paper risked life and limb to expose-for the first time in 30 years-this easy formula for guaranteed* Comfest stardom.

(How did we find the secret? We called and asked them.)

1.) Apply early. We're talking February. There are hundreds of bands who apply, and only about a dozen volunteers who set out to watch them.

2.) Play out and play often. Be sure that Comfest is aware of your local performance schedule via Comfest.com. "Anyone can send us a link to Myspace, but we want to know what you sound like live. We're purists in that way," one organizer said.

3.) Volunteer at the festival. It gives you an edge. It gets you noticed. And even if it doesn't, it's probably the right thing to do.

4.) Know somebody. Either be born of a Comfest Committee member, or befriend one naturally. Look for the guy taking notes at the show, but don't be weird in your approach. They don't like to be lobbied personally, and they don't like pushy musicians.

5.) Accept defeat. If you don't get in this year, don't throw a hissy. "We remember people who respond positively," to bad news, an organizer said.

* Results not guaranteed. Attempt at your own risk.



Five ways to totally ruin your chances

There is no "Comfest Blacklist," per se, but those who pick the bands boast a strong memory.

1.) Don't schedule your gig at Dick's Den. The venue is the only bar in Columbus that has the audacity to force Comfest organizers to pony up a cover charge at live shows, committee members said.

2.) Don't spit on members of the entertainment committee, drive your van through Goodale Park or bring glass bottles to the festival. EC members possess genetically enhanced lobes of their brains devoted specifically to remembering those who misbehave at Comfest. Trust us. Don't do it.

3.) Don't be wasted at your live show. It's tacky.

4.) Don't get comfortable. Even well-known Comfest staples can turn sour and lose favor with the committee. Just because you've been on the list year after year doesn't mean you're guaranteed a spot.

5.) Don't be a jerk. This directive from the EC is a little more vague, but The Other Paper believes it's a good mantra to strive for, regardless.